I’m not a big Halloween celebrator. I think that I got this from my mother, who felt that it was a useless holiday, one that involved a lot of work from parents with no benefit to anyone but the children. She did, however, get to raid our candy stashes, so I suppose she did get a little benefit. This is probably why she allowed us to participate in Halloween at all.
My children have grown up with a much different Halloween experience than my own. I have fond memories of walking my neighborhood streets, visiting all of the neighbors that I had been visiting for almost my entire life. My parents had a route planned out that allowed for enough trick-or-treating to satisfy our lust for candy without having to stay out all night. My father usually got stuck walking around the neighborhood in the cold while my mother graciously volunteered to stay home in the warm house to hand out candy. My childhood often was something straight out of a Disney channel movie.
We have been back in the US for Halloween several times, so some of my children have memories of trick-or-treating from house to house in the cool October air, walking up an unfamiliar sidewalk to ring the doorbell and wait for a complete stranger to give you brightly packaged goodness just because you asked.
But usually we’re overseas for Halloween. Here in Uzbekistan Halloween is illegal so we attended the embassy’s Halloween party. The children started throwing ideas around for costumes several months ago, something they really enjoy. I’ve never bought or made any costumes (too lazy and too cheap), so they get to rummage through the dress-up box and cobble together whatever they can find. Sophia is usually the mastermind for this process, and she relishes figuring out what can be made from the available parts.
This year the girls reprised some Christmas present dresses, squeezing one more year out of them before they are too small. Eleanor went as Little Red (Orange) Riding Hood, Joseph was Caesar, Edwin was Brutus, and William was Boss Baby. William’s costume was the easiest, as we just had to put church clothes on him and a name tag for identification. In a fit of festiveness, I also dressed up this year. I went as a Tajik, wearing a traditional suzani outfit that I bought in Dushanbe.
The weather had unfortunately turned cold the day before Halloween, so everyone froze to death while playing the games outside to pass the time before going trunk-or-treating. Joseph had firmly assured me that shorts and flip flops would be just fine, so I didn’t feel too bad for him as he slowly turned into a toga-covered popsicle. As soon as the trunk-or-treating opened up, everyone raced around to get their candy, declared themselves partied out, and were happy to go home.
They didn’t get the five-pound haul that Dushanbe usually yielded, but they still got enough candy to be happy. Because – free candy! And I was happy have fewer wrappers to clean up and less candy to pry out of William’s sticky, chocolate covered fingers after he found a sibling’s stash. So, I’ll call it another successful Halloween.